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Digital adoption can boost economic growth

The increase of digital adoption can lead to a boost in economic growth, shows a study by Oxford Economics and Accenture Strategy. In this light, developing proper skills are important.

The research shows that digital technologies in new markets, manufacturing and enterprise raise productivity thus leading to economic growth. The survey looks at the global GPD and says it can be driven up by $1.36 trillion by 2020. This is 2.3% more than the current estimates.

Digital is not just about technology, it’s about progress. What you can achieve in terms of effectiveness and efficiency is because digital is there,” says to ComputerWeekly Gionata Tedeschi, MD Accenture Strategy for Italy and emerging markets.

Perhaps unsurprisingly South Korea is the leading nation in digital tech adoption. Other countries that the survey singles out as prime examples are Sweden, the US, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

They show greatest strength in creating digital markets and fostering digital enablers. That last one is something that is especially important if you want to create a sustainable digital market that actually drives growth and brings value. It also shows why developing IT and digital skills is so important. It is something that should be on the top of the to-do lists of policy makers, educational institutions and the business.

Sadly it seems that there are various schools of thought on what needs to be done. Most countries are still struggling with the development of digital skills and the EU as a whole is also lagging in that area. In order to help out, the researchers have made a 10-point plan for deepening the digital density across the world. There is also a score card that measures the digital density of a country and takes into consideration metrics like digital tech adoption, digital skills, approaches to working and digital regulatory frameworks.

If the UK adopts this plan for example, the researchers estimate that it could rise its GDP by 57 billion dollars by 2020. As a whole, developed countries would add an additional 0.25% to their annual economic growth if they implement more digital skills. According to Accenture, governments should be viewing disruptive business models in a different way. They should focus on not letting outdated legislation and industry boundaries limit change, while businesses should make more of an effort to engage with governments and use digital technologies to transform business processes, making their use of all resources more effective.

Furthermore, governments should create a more inviting environment for the people to be interested in digital skills. In the UK alone 20% of the people are still digitally excluded and they should be motivated by various initiatives to join the digital world.